A Young Man and An Old Man - A Neil Young Story
1970 Dutch documentary film by Wim Van der Linden
Every now and then we get a note that touches our souls and that we feel obligated to share with the rusted Neil Young community... what we call "Neil Stories".
So pull up a chair, sit down, clear your mind, and ponder this letter from Buck.
Great job on providing current Neil news and stories. I have been a big fan of your site for a number of years, but a recent story touched me in a very special way. I can relate with the gentleman's story that was highlighted in "The Emotional Resonance That Is Neil Young" of August 1, 2012.
Just a few weeks ago, I lost my father in a fatal car accident. Growing up, Neil always had a special place in both of our hearts. At an early age, my father made a mix tape of several tracks from Neil's early years (mainly After The Gold Rush and Harvest), and I would often find myself falling asleep to those NY records. Fast forward to my high school years, I rediscovered Neil and have not stopped listening since.
Growing up, music was a big part of both our lives. I loved the same music from my mother and father's younger days, and would often go to several concerts with them. In fact, I treated both of my parents to two Neil shows on his Twisted Road tour from a few years back. At the show in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Neil treated many of his fans with both "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" and encores. My dad always loved "Old Man," and the more I think about the song and its realism in illustrating that people from different generations are not that different, I began to think of my dad.
At 25, one does not realize how big an impact a parent has played in one's life until they are gone. When I got that news that my dad was killed in a car accident, I began to think not of material goods, but of those little idiosyncratic moments that make life grand. I thought of my dad's love of music, and how he and I shared a love for Neil's music. When it was time to plan my dad's funeral, my mother and I selected "Old Man" to be played at his service, and in true "Tonight's The Night" fashion my dad was buried in a concert T-shirt from the last show he and I attended, which was not a Neil show but Roger Waters performing The Wall.
Still, there was something very moving, very powerful about the way "Old Man" sounded at my dad's service. There was certain comfort my mother and I felt during that song that we had not felt all week in the wake of my dad's passing. When I heard the lines, "Live alone in a paradise that makes me think of two," I could not help but think of where my dad might be at the time of that song playing.
Not to sound too "otherworldly," but perhaps, as Neil sings, "There's more to the picture, than meets the eye."
So sorry for your loss Buck. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you had some memories with your Dad... "Live alone in a paradise that makes me think of two."